Armstrong - Growth Mindset

Armstrong – Growth Mindset

Following the victory over Motherwell, Brendan was especially critical of the Celtic Park pitch. When I initially heard this audio I was quite taken aback at just how critical he was, stating that some of our better performances have been away from home due to the condition of our pitch. Obviously the manager is entitled to be unhappy but to be so public? But then if you expect the best this isn’t being rude, it’s stating the obvious?


Regular readers and listeners to the podcast will know that I am a fan of the work of Carol Dweck, Matthew Sayed and Malcolm Gladwell and their writings on the growth mindset – that people are not born with natural talent but develop through hard work and effort. More importantly that you never “get there”, that you can always develop and improve and this seems to be the attitude of Brendan; always strive to be better, to be the best you can possibly be.


I love that Brendan is seeking the best of the best from everyone at Celtic Park. We are on a record-breaking run of unbeaten and winning games and yet Brendan is patently striving for better. Since the return from the winter break we have heard criticism of Griffiths for not trying his best in training and praise for Boyatta for being on the treadmill at 1am.


Over these past few weeks in particular Brendan has been effusive in his praise of Gordon, Boyatta and Armstrong; players who have improved and developed in the time since Brendan arrived, with Gordon receiving praise again in today’s audio. The coaching team he’s brought in are demanding more everyday from the players AND from the existing coaching and medical staff and we have already heard that Brendan is looking for improvements to be made at Lennoxtown in the summer. Now we know he’s wanting a top quality playing surface at Celtic Park.


We know that Brendan’s career was cut short and he spent a considerable amount of time in coaching and developing young players before moving to first team management. He has recently spoken of the work ethic he took from his father which no doubt influenced the way he put his heart and soul into his coaching success. I believe Brendan will be here for the 10 and will take us to last 16 of the Champions League with an ambition to get us into the last 8 and he is putting his heart and soul again into his five-year plan to achieve this. In my opinion he is the best British Football coach operating today and you do not achieve that by accepting average – mediocrity is not an achievement.


It is hard to work and live with someone always striving to be better as it means not ever having an average day, but the rewards are worthwhile. We are patently on the verge of something really special. A treble looks likely and if we can add Sinclair/Dembele level quality in the summer and retain the existing talent, we will be capable of something special in Europe too.  Wining trophies is great but perhaps the greatest legacy of Brendan will be off the park, creating a culture within the club where everyone has a growth mindset and where no-one is allowed to rest on their laurels. A club where, from cleaner to keeper, average need not apply.